WITH the Commonwealth Games due to kick off tonight in Glasgow, one athlete was happier than most to be in the city.
Tonga boxer, Lomalito Moala, has expressed his love for all things Celtic on Twitter and Instagram and couldn’t wait to arrive at Celtic Park.
The athlete, who won bronze in the lightweight division at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has always had a soft spot for Celtic and discovered his love for them when they beat European giants Barcelona in 2012.
After arriving at Glasgow airport his first stop was the Celtic shop, where he bought a Celtic top, he then tweeted a picture, followed by the caption: “Got me a Celtic top but freaking so many ranger fans Lolz”
Maola couldn’t believe his luck after Celtic chiefs, who heard of his exploits on social media, sent him six tickets to the European Qualifying game against KR Reykjavik at Murrayfield.
The Tongan took in the game with some of his team mates, before celebrating with Scott Brown and the fans as Deila’s men ran out 4-0 winners.
In an interview with the official Celtic website, Moala said: “I’ve always been a Celtic fan, especially when we beat Barcelona in the Champions League. I’ve got a lot of Irish mates as well at the Games and I think they’re pretty jealous of me right now!
“One of them is a two-time bronze medallist at the Olympics, Paddy Barnes, so this is all dedicated to him as well.
“I love Celtic. The fans are just crazy. We all represent Tonga and now we have Celtic behind Tonga and we’re behind Celtic so hopefully it’s the start of a new partnership.”
Moala arrived in Scotland as part of team of 16 members who are competing for Tonga and he is confident that he and some of his team mates will be taking home medals.
He added: “I’m quietly confident. I think a few boys could win medals and I’m going to go back in and cause a few more upsets just like in 2010 when I won the bronze medal.
“The competition is pretty stiff. To get to just the semi-finals I have four fights so there are a few fighters in our category.
“I’m quietly confident, though. I know the fighters in the village are keeping their eye on me but I’m just keeping quiet. Now that I know the Celtic fans are behind me I’m delighted!
“It has been really good in Scotland so far. The people have been great to us and I think they like the little minnow countries and the people have been great in Glasgow.”
After the game Moala reiterated his promise to carry his new favourite top into the ring, tweeting: “I hope I will bring that same passion in the ring!Tomorrow night I will carry that jersey & dedicate it to all you Celtic fans!”